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Martina Anderson MLA urges action on fuel prices

11 May, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed news from her party colleague MLA and Chair of the Finance and Personnel committee in the Assembly Jennifer McCann that she intends to call for a meeting with the major fuel suppliers for the North of Ireland in order to ascertain what they are doing to help reduce the high price of fuel at the moment.

Martina Anderson said:

“The current and record peak of oil prices is placing a huge burden on both domestic and business users alike. The Consumer Council this week revealed that in May 2009, it cost £48.78 to fill a car with a 50litre tank with petrol and £50.99 with diesel. At the beginning of May 2010, it is £12.00 more expensive to fill with petrol and£10.57 for diesel

“Not only are people in Derry facing the high costs when fuelling their cars or heating their homes but the high prices are having a direct and negative impact on many aspects of life.

“If for example we just take the delivery section, the costs of transporting goods will increase and therefore those costs may very well be passed on to the consumer whether it be in supermarkets, local shops or at building trade suppliers.

“The high cost of fuel will also have a further impact on those who live in rural areas as they depend more on their cars for travel and access to work.

“While the cost of fuel has been increasing steadily over the past year due to a weakened pound sterling, we also need to explore what options are available to protect consumers. My party colleague Jennifer McCann  has called for the  Finance and Personnel Committee to meet with  the major oil suppliers to the north to examine what they are doing or can do in relation to reducing costs. 

Martina Anderson went on to say

 “There is also a need to examine what the British government can do to alleviate the immediate pressures that people are facing. Currently the vast majority of the price of a litre of petrol is tax.

“In the current economic climate this is no way sustainable and certainly is detrimental to attempts to come out of recession.  What clearly needs to happen is that the British government must mitigate against rises in world fuel costs by reducing the tax burden to offset such increases.”

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